Tag Archives: Downtown Disney

Character of the week: Alice

One of my favorite authors has blogged about one of my favorite Disney characters – Alice In Wonderland 🙂 I was kind of surprised, because Paulo Coelho’s Character of the Week is usually one of his own characters from one of his own books. But this week, he chose Alice – and he’s got a few choice quotes from her in his post as well!

Character of the week: Alice « Paulo Coelho’s Blog.

He reminded me of one of my favorite pieces of Disney art work, which is hanging in my “long-ass hallway” (a ridiculously long, empty, bowling alley of a hallway in my home). It’s a series of Disney first day covers, issued by the US Postal Service in 2005. Here’s the part that features Alice. You can tell it was a long time ago by the price of the stamp! I don’t think Disney could have made her any sweeter or prettier, do you?

Alice first day cover

(You can also see the reflection of my fingers on the camera, right around the Anaheim, CA postmark LOL)

IMG_3397-WDW-DTD-TrenD-cheshire-cat

Last spring, Alice In Wonderland merchandise was a big presence in Walt Disney World, probably due to the imminent release of the updated version with Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter. There were all these “flatsy” versions of Alice and her strange pals, including this version of the Cheshire Cat (above).

IMG_3398-WDW-DTD-TrenD-cheshire-cat

On a subsequent trip, I ended up purchasing the more conventional Cheshire Cat. He fit quite nicely in my toy chest with the rest of the gang I’ve assembled over the years.

Someone has a sense of humor

And finally – only a few short weeks ago, I was in Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney and caught this comical little scene. Someone had posed a leering Cheshire Cat on the arm of the huge Duffy bear that stands in an alcove in that store. Meanwhile, Duffy appears to be placidly unaware that a demented maniac has commandeered his limb. This is the cleverest thing I’ve seen in Disney since the Canadian mystery shoes 😉
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Your life was just not complete – until now!

Vinylmation pins – start your collection today! Yes, we know – you already collect pins and you already collect Vinylmation. But we’re just not done extracting that last dime from you. So g’wan – you know you want to 😉

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Photo Friday: Best Shots Of 2010

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Photo Friday wants us to show our Best Shots of 2010. I think this shot of the moon is my best, but there were lots of others that made the also-ran list as I went through my Flickr account in search of treasures. So here they all are – bon appetite, and have a fabulous New Year! <3

Full Flower Moon

IMG_3893-Sanibel-Gulfside-City-Park-Moon

The Full Flower Moon rises over Gulfside City Park, aka “Algiers” beach on Sanibel Island. Thursday May 27th, 2010.
 

What are YOU lookin’ at?

IMG_3877-Sanibel-Lighthouse-Beach-Osprey


Almost-grown osprey awaits the return of a parent with dinner. Lighthouse Beach, Sanibel Island, Lee County, Southwest Florida. May 2010.
 

The Fishing Dude

IMG_3926-Fishing-dude-Blind-Pass-Victory


“The Fishing Dude” declares victory, June 13th 2010 (this is part of a series)
 

Sanibel Causeway Sunset

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Some brilliant colors were seen on July 31st 2010
 

Sanibel Sunset Silhouette

IMG_4085-Sanibel-causeway-sunset-tree


A young tree silhouetted against the dramatic backdrop of a Sanibel sunset. September 12th, 2010
 

Heading Up The Rose Walk

Heading up the rose walk toward Imagination


Yellow rose in bloom, aken at EPCOT on October 25th, 2010 – WITH A CAMERA PHONE!
 

Dinner!

IMG_4116-Great-Blue-Heron


A great blue heron spears himself a meal from the pond in my back yard. October 10th 2010.
 

Frenzy On The Sanibel Causeway

Frenzy on the Sanibel Island Causeway


Seagulls out of control on November 7th 2010. And I will give you the entire original rant that went with it:
“There’s a guy off-camera throwing gawd knows what at these beach birds. People, you should NOT feed wild animals! It makes them unafraid of people and they can become a nuisance or worse. Plus it makes them dependent on people for sustenance.

Don’t feed the animals unless it is dire circumstances (like, a blizzard, which is unlikely to happen here)

Sent from my Nokia N97”
 

All Aboard The Magnolia Blossom

All Aboard The Magnolia Blossom


Taken at Downtown Disney in Orlando, Florida on December 5th 2010. Love the drama of the darkening sky behind the cheerful blue and yellow boat docked in the sunshine.
 

The Big, Golden Ball

Big Golden Ball


Big Golden Ball – December 1st, 2010. Really, it’s Spaceship Earth, the iconic geosphere at the entrance of Disney’s EPCOT theme park. Late-day sunlight glinting off the Big Silver Ball! (to quote an entry on Foursquare). Makes it look like The Big Golden Ball instead.
 

Healthy, Happy and Peaceful New Year To All 🙂



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10:20 am and Downtown Disney is already jam-packed

I am usually the luckiest woman on the planet when it comes to finding primo parking spaces (I frequentlypoint to this as the reason why I am the UNluckiest woman on the planet when it comes to love). However, even I had to make a few passes before securing a space this morning. Madness!

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Lost post from 2009 – my notes from Disney’s UP!

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Notes about Disney’s UP! (one year late)

I was in Walt Disney World on June 14th 2009; I’d taken a professional certification exam the day before in Orlando and stayed the weekend to browse the parks. Well, it was so hell hot, I decided to cool off by taking myself to the AMC theaters in Downtown Disney. Pixar’s UP! was playing there, and I loved it. I made notes of my favorite parts and quotes… and then promptly lost the post! For some reason, I dated it June 14th 2010 instead of 2009, so it’s been sitting all this time waiting to auto-post. Anyhow, other than this little introduction, I’m not altering the post – however it was written, that’s how it was written!

I would, however, love to hear YOUR impressions of the film one year later – comments, please!

  • Ellie had a book called “My Adventures”.  I have a website called “My Adventures
  • “It’s like America – only, south!”
  • Females are drawn like the females in BOLT – in this way, animators create “cousins” across films.  Check the females in The Incredibles too.  Check animators of various films, who was in charge of which characters.
  • [pullquote]

    “Adventure is out there!”

    [/pullquote]

  • Amused by use of Bizet’s “Habanera” when he was coming down the stairs in his elevator chair
  • Second time in 24 hours I saw someone make a “w” with their fingers.  Saw Cameron Diaz do it in “The Sweetest Thing” the night before
  • Little touches, like when the bad guy in the suit puts his hand possessively on the picket fence post
  • Finally, seeing Disney's UP

  • Stuff I’m going to do “someday” was on these pages – sometimes, you get a big, fat NO from the Universe.
  • I heard the Miss Gulch bicycle music in my head as the house was tossed about by the storm
  • Another Wizard of Oz parallel – “it was in my own backyard at one point but I didn’t realize it at the time” – dreams of “someday” – sometimes you don’t realize it, but “someday” is NOW.
  • There’s no place like home – Ellie IS home, the physical location is irrelevant.
  • Little kid stuff – knee, elbow, another of the little touches.
  • “I do I do I do ever so want the ball.”
  • “Tents are HARD!”
  • “I like you temporarily.”
  • “I will stop the dogs – stop, you dogs!”
  • “It is funny because the squirrel gets dead.”
  • “I think the boring stuff is the stuff I remember the most… I like that curb.”
  • Clinging to the dream can be the wrong priority.  But how to know if let go or hold on?  LOOK FOR SIGNS.
  • Dogs playing poker – great pop culture iconic reference 🙂
  • Old creaky warriors – flying dentures – make me bust up laughing 🙂
  • House disappears into the ether – home just alive in memories now (but Ellie made sure it landed where it was supposed to land)
  • HAPPY ENDING 🙂  I wish!

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A Downtown Disney mystery

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IMG_3390-WDW-DTD-sign-Marketplace-Team-Mickey😯 I don’t know how to tell you this, so I’m just going to spit it out – the Stepford-stewardess-zombie dolls are GONE!

Intrepid readers may recall that I discovered these oddities during my March weekend in Walt Disney World while browsing the Tren-D boutique in Downtown Disney. If you missed it or don’t remember, you can click here to read about it – go ahead, we’ll wait…. oh good you’re back. Surely you can see that the “Stepford Stewardesses” are a little strange. Each doll is clad in identical dresses with identical accessories and identical stares… I suspected then that there was something a little creepy about them, and apparently I was right!

IMG_3391-WDW-DTD-TrenD-Mickey-splatter-paintingLook – they’re GONE! It’s like they just marched away. No trace of them whatsoever. Where did they go? What is their mission? Who is controlling them and their vacant little staring eyes? And where did all these over-sized chess pieces come from?

I began to roam the store in search of them. Surely they could not have wandered far! Disney does not allow their theming to just get up and walk off. Unless… unless the Stepford-stewardess-zombie dolls had actually taken control of the store and all the Cast Members in it!

No sooner did I have this terrifying thought, then the teeny tiny hairs on the back of my neck began to stand on end. I felt uncomfortable, like I was being watched… Slowly I turned, step by step, inch by inch, whereupon I came face to face with a site so horrifying, I nearly fled screaming in abject terror. For there, on a shelf in the corner stood…

IMG_3392-WDW-DTD-TrenD-polka-dot-dolls

Stepford Polka Dot dolls


(queue scary music )

Have they read my mind? Do they know I suspect them of this diabolical plot to take over Downtown Disney by means of Stepford-zombie mind control? Are they hiding under my bed this very minute? Must I be COMPLETELY mad to be posting this?

NEXT WEEK: The Polka Dot dolls reveal all!

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Dinosaur Week: giant Lego monsters!

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IMG_0012-WDW-DTD-Legos-dinosaurs🙂 Welcome to Dinosaur Week at My Mobile Adventures *~*~* As mentioned elsewhere, the only real reason it is Dinosaur Week is because I have pictures of dinosars to share 😉 Today’s offering comes from Downtown Disney. As many are aware, there is a Lego store there, and they’ve been displaying complex, life-sized Lego sculptures for many years. They are swapped out periodically, so sometimes you get a surprise on your next visit.



These dinosaurs stood very close to the shore. One of the current displays is an entire tourist family. I have to say that my all-time faves were the dragon and the guy who was snoring on the bench outside the store (I think he looked like Frasier from the TV show). I was on a boat from the Port Orleans French Quarter resort when I snapped this photo, so that’s why it’s a behind-and-to-the-side view.

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Shopportunity knocks: from whimsical to bizarre

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030620102564-WDW-DTD-Tren-D🙂 My new favorite place for a Disney shopportunity is Tren-D, a new-ish high-end boutique attached to Team Mickey in Downtown Disney. This is where you will find some of the more… um, “interesting” Disney merchandise on property. I’d call the place a mix between “whimisical” and “edgy”. Perhaps that’s why Mickey has that look on his face – he’s a bit stunned, don’t you think? Certainly all the new “Alice” merchandise will fit here nicely.

030620102559-WDW-DTD-splattered-Mickey-MouseHere is one of those “whimsical” things I was talking about. This is a human-sized statue of Mickey Mouse that’s been splatter-painted in bright primary colors. He stands sentinel between Tren-D and Team Mickey, gesturing for us to enter the boutique. Of course he wants us to go in – chances are very good that you will walk out of there sporting a lighter wallet and a high-end purse you didn’t know you needed and never imagined you’d fall in love with

030620102558-WDW-DTD-Tren-D-Cast-Member-DollsThey look like Stepford airline stewardesses but I believe they are actually supposed to represent Disneyland cast members from the early, early days. A single one of these effigies would have been sort of an art-deco tribute to Disneyana, a 20th century object d’art – but a collection of them all standing in a row, all looking exactly alike – well, it’s just creepy. I do like the quasi-psychedelic Mickey portrait, though 🙂 He makes a nice backdrop.

I hope you enjoyed our Ruby Tuesday shopping trip!

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Planet Hollywood, Downtown Disney

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IMG_1982This is the Planet Hollywood in Downtown Disney, Orlando, Florida. While selecting a photo for this post, I realized that in all the years I’ve been going to Walt Disney World, I have never dined at Planet Hollywood!

I remember when this chain first opened. Stars like Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger co-owned it. At the time, it, was sort of new and innovative to have big name stars publicly backing and promoting a major tourist attraction restaurant while they were still big name stars. Star power lent the illusion of glamor to the chain.

In addition to the restaurants, the Planet Hollywood brand has been applied to a hotel and casino resort in Las Vegas. I’ve read that the Starwood Hotel Chain is going to take over management of this resort. That might just get me to Vegas. I’ve shied away from going there because I’m not interested in gambling, the show tickets are REALLY expensive, and I have the impression that the entire city is an assault on the senses. But staying at a hotel free on Starwood points might just change my mind!

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Disney critters at work and play

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IMG_1992-WDW-DTD-Cashier-grasshopper-ants🙂 I was in Walt Disney World (where else?), standing in line at the big World of Disney store in Downtown Disney, waiting for my opportunity to indulge in some rampant consumerism. The Cast Member who was ringing up the woman ahead of me was inexperienced, slow and giving out some really bad advice about where discounts could and could not be had. Bored, impatient, but trying to be nice and pleasant and Zen about it, I glanced at the ceiling and smiled with genuine delight – there, painted on the ceiling, were the subjects of one of my all-time favorite Silly Symphonies.

Disney’s Silly Symphonies are a series of 75 short, animated films produced over a period of about ten years during the 1930s. In fact, the very first full Technicolor film was a Silly Symphony called Flowers and Trees. Some of these short films were based upon myths, legends, morality tales and fables. One of Aesop’s best fables made cut – The Grasshopper and the Ants.

IMG_1991The story features a grasshopper who fiddles and sings his way through summer, when food is abundant, and scoffs at the ants, hard at work setting aside stores for the lean months ahead. Winter finds the grasshopper collapsing on the ants’ doorstep, starved and nearly frozen. In pity, they take him in and care for him, but the arrival of the colony’s queen strikes fear into his heart. He supplicates himself before her, knowing that he’s been lazy, has not worked, has scoffed at them, and doesn’t deserve their kindness. The queen hands him his fiddle and admonishes him… to play! At once, he realizes he just landed himself a position as court musician. He strikes up a jolly tune and the dancing commences. Soundtrack swells, fade to black.

I once took a sociology class called “The Disney Empire: Culture and Power”, where I learned that both as an employer and as an entertainment company, Disney tends to blur the lines between work and play. There are many examples in Disney’s films of work and play interchanging, but none so pointed or classic as The Grasshopper and the Ants.

It’s pretty rare in this world to have a job that feels like play. Sometimes, when I watch the young Cast Members, barely adults themselves, playing with the kids along the parade route in the Magic Kingdom to help them pass the time, I’m just a little envious. I know they don’t make much money, I know – I just like the idea of getting paid something, ANYTHING, for playing 😉

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Characters In Flight, Downtown Disney

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06142009776-WDW-DTD-adventurers-club-balloon

🙂 A new attraction
floats above an old nightclub –
Characters In Flight

It’s a bittersweet scene. One of Downtown Disney’s newest attractions hovers over Pleasure Island’s oldest attraction. The Adventurer’s Club is closed, along with all of Pleasure Island’s other night clubs. Back in April, I bid a belated farewell to Pleasure Island, explaining that Disney had chosen to close the clubs in favor of more “family friendly” entertainment. The new Characters In Flight attraction could qualify as “family friendly”. It looks like a lot of fun. When I was there a few weeks ago, I decided not to go by myself; there was no fear factor involved, I just thought I’d have a better time with friends and/or family. So, if I attend the Moose Meet in October, I think I’m going to want to drag some of my fellow Mooses along – who’s game? Who wants to come fly with me? C’mon, you KNOW you want to! 😉

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Lego Sculpture at Downtown Disney: The Dragon

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
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02-20-08_1224-WDW-Downtown-Disney-Lego-Dragon 🙂 Seems like I’m in a Downtown Disney kind of mood so far this week. There’s a big Lego store at Downtown Disney, and they have decorated the outside with life-size-and-beyond Lego creations, including this dragon in Village Lake.

This is only part of him – he’s a rather long serpent, and to get all of him in the shot, from this angle anyway, would require standing so far away, you would not be able to see his tongue hanging out or his googly eyes. Despite his sharp-looking Lego fangs, I think he looks sort of doofy and humorous, don’t you? Not scary at all, at all!.

My favorite Lego creation down there was a life-size tourist with a bald head, sitting on the bench taking a nap. Every now and then, it would start snoring 😉 I’m not sure he is still there, but next time I’m in The World, I’ll check it out and report back!

OK, so I wasn’t “wordless” this week – so, sue me! 😀

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Feeding the birds can be hazardous to your vacation

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Come feed the little birds,
Show them you care
And you’ll be glad if you do
Their young ones are hungry
Their nests are so bare
All it takes is tuppence from you
Feed the birds, tuppence a bag…

– From Disney’s Mary Poppins

Virtually all of us have done it. Sometimes we’ve done it deliberately, clutching the remains of a week-old plastic bag of Wonderbread as we head off to the local duck pond. Sometimes we’ve done it accidentally, when a request to “super-size it” has resulted in spillage that is immediately pounced upon by pigeons and sparrows in the parking lot of the local fast-food joint. Whether thoughtfully or thoughtlessly, we have all fed the birds.

IMG01520This seemingly innocuous pastime has consequences that add up to much more than “tuppence a bag”. People food is bad for a bird’s digestive system. Feed any wild animal and they learn to associate humans with food. This makes them lose their fear of humans in favor of a full stomach. It can also make them lose their hunting skills and give them a sense of entitlement, to the point where you almost have to beat them off with a stick in order to eat out-of-doors in peace.

I found this sign posted on the green wrought iron fence that surrounds the Village Lake at Downtown Disney. Times past, there used to be fish kibble machines peppering the perimeter of the lake. Pump in a quarter, get a fist-full of fish kibble. I don’t know if the machines are still there. You could fling your handful of kibble all at once and watch the fish (and sometimes turtles) jump for it, or else you could drop your pieces one by one, very close to where you were standing, so you could get a good look at them as they surfaced with their large mouths open, ready to devour whatever you were dropping.

Problem, Houston. One time as we were flinging our kibble into the lake, my NIeceling and I were set upon by a mob of hungry, swooping, squawking, flapping avian muggers. In broad daylight! We had to keep walking and pretend we weren’t furtively dropping a kibble here, a kibble there over the side for the fish.

Other times I’ve been seated outside at the Boardwalk or outside the Peppermarket at Coronado Springs or even in the Magic Kingdom at Caseys or in Frontierland, and all manner of feathered fowl and fiends have milled about my feet, hopped up on the table and even attempted to steal food right out of my hand. And every time I’ve seen bad behavior from the birds, it’s been right alongside bad behavior from the humans.

Moral of the story: since we all paid much more than “tuppence” for that burger, not to mention our theme park admission and accommodations – DON’T feed the birds!

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Cruising the Sassagoula River

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We’re taking a cruise down the Sassagoula! All aboard the river boat, and let’s see where it takes us.

IMG_0932-WDW-Sassagoula-River-Map

The Sassagoula is a man-made waterway that connects several Disney resorts with Village Lake, around which Downtown Disney and the Saratoga Springs resort are clustered. Guests can embark from Port Orleans Riverside, Port Orleans French Quarter, Old Key West or Saratoga Springs to get to one of the other resorts or to Downtown Disney.

IMG_0857-WDW-Port-Orleans-French-Quarter-dock

Guests are transported to and fro in blue and yellow flat-bottomed river boats. There are actually three routes – one for the Port Orleans resorts, one that services Saratoga Springs and Old Key West, and one that taxis guests back and forth between two Downtown Disney docks (the West Side and the Marketplace). The boats play a soothing mix of instrumental-only Disney tunes, many of them having to do with boats and waterways. It’s not unusual to hear Just Around The Riverbend from Pocahontas followed by Candle on the Water from Pete’s Dragon.

IMG_0880-WDW-Port-Orleans-Riverside-Mill-restaurant

Aside from going back and forth between Downtown Disney and the resorts, you can also resort-hop. Over the years, I have read the same question over and over on many internet boards – “What can we do at Walt Disney World that’s FREE?“. Well, you can take a trip on the Sassagoula River! For instance, you can park at Downtown Disney and hop aboard the boat that goes up to Port Orleans Riverside. You can get off there, take a stroll around the scenic grounds, grab a bite to eat at the Riverside Mill food court or even go shopping at the market. There’s also a table service restaurant called Boatwright’s Dining Hall.

IMG_0924-WDW-Port-Orleanse-French-Quarter-Sassagoula-Floatworks

Suppose you prefer the ambiance of historic New Orleans – in that case, make your stop at Port Orleans French Quarter. This is a small, quaint resort styled after “the Big Easy”, featuring authentic Mardi Gras theming, beautifully landscaped “neighborhoods”, and humorous street signs. If you stop to have lunch at the Sassagoula Floatworks, be sure to have the chicken Caesar salad – my family really loves it, but if you are calorie conscious or just don’t like your salad drowned, be sure to ask for the dressing on the side.

IMG_0030-WDW-Sassagoula-Sunset-river-boat

I’ve stayed at the French Quarter a few times, and during one of those trips, one of my co-workers and his wife were also in Orlando, staying at the Old Key West resort. So one afternoon I set out on the river boats to go and visit them. As mentioned, there are several different routes; Old Key West and the French Quarter are not on the same route, so it’s necessary to change boats at Downtown Disney. The boat dock is right near the Rainforest Cafe, within sight of the Saratoga Springs resort across the lake. I didn’t have a long wait at all, and before I knew it, the Old Key West boat arrived to take me the rest of the way to my destination. It probably would have been faster to drive, but it would not have been nearly as pretty or relaxing!

IMG_0044-WDW-Port-Orleans-Riverside-Olivias-restaurant

The trip along the river is very pleasant and uneventful except for the occasional “water mouse” that speeds by. “Water mice” are little, two-person boats you can rent at Port Orleans Riverside, Downtown Disney and various other places throughout Walt Disney World. Once we docked at Old Key West, I walked a short way up to a bench outside the restaurant, called Olivia’s, to wait for my friends. As you can see, it was autumn when these photos were taken; Olivia’s is all decked out with cornstalks, hay stacks, and pumpkins. But the pastel pinks, greens, blues and yellows that cover the resort buildings are definitely designed to evoke the sub-tropical “old Florida” atmosphere of Key West.

I hope you enjoyed our trip up and down the Sassagoula River today. Remember, if you are ever in Orlando and looking to kill a few hours just relaxing, consider climbing aboard one of these charming boats and touring the resorts that are “just around the riverbend”.

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The Empress Lilly, Downtown Disney

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IMG01511-Fultons-Crab-House-Empress-LillyFor today’s Ruby Tuesday, I’ve got a little history lesson for you all, about a popular seafood restaurant in Orlando, Florida.

Located in Downtown Disney, Fulton’s Crab House opened in the mid-1970s and was originally called The Empress Lilly. Named after and christened by Walt Disney’s wife Lillian, this paddle-boat styled structure housed three different restaurants and a lounge. After many years, Disney began to outsource the management of their restaurants, and The Empress Lilly underwent a transformation into the Fulton’s Crab House restaurant you see there today. It’s been a few years since I’ve eaten there, but I seem to remember that I liked the crab cakes a lot!

Have you eaten at Fulton’s Crab House recently?
Was it good? Bad? Downright UGLY?
Please leave a comment and share your experience – I’d love to hear about it!


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Mission #1: New Maui Jims – COMPLETE



Mission #1: New Maui Jims – COMPLETE, originally uploaded by Tink*~*~*.

I’d have to go back into the trip report archives to say for sure but I believe I bought my old ones here at Downtown Disney, and that Nieceling was with me. I think that was three or four years ago.

Anyhow, they were scratched up and I wanted woder ones. Here they are! Look out, I be stylin’ now!

Ok, on to the nexy mission…
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